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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  December 23, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm PST

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that makes it the fifth-closest star to the sun. but three of the five closest stars are too faint to see without a telescope, so sirius is the second-closest star that's visible to the unaided eye. next week, we'll talk about stars that vary in brightness from one night to the next. until then, this is tony flanders from sky & telescope magazine, wishing you clear skies and great views. brought to you by: captioned by line 21
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wahoo >> the house will stand in recess subject to the chair. >> this week on "in some washington" john boehner plus plan collapses and the house goes home for christmas. >> it is hard to wrap your mind around it but someone so young in such a peaceful community over such an ardent a bent pin down another massacre and another called for gun-control. >> the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an
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excuse for doing nothing. >> handle after the state department report on benghazi, but are they the right ones? >> the security posture of the compound was inadequate for the threat environment, and in fact, grossly inadequate to deal with the attack which took place that night. >> will former republican senator chuck kagel and make it to the pentagon? >> the house did not take up the tax measure today because it did on have sufficient support from our members to pass. house speaker john boehner's statement thursday evening as he stood in print of the republican conference, he recited the serenity prayer. god, grant me the serenity to accept the things which i cannot change and close the house for
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business until after christmas. there is no place like an empty house for the holidays. thus diane john boehner's plan b, which was destined to die anyway. >> let me be clear. speaker boehner's plans are nonstarters in the senate. >> boehner appeared friday morning and said, if this thing were easy, it would have been done decades ago. >> i am interested in solving the major problems that face our country. that means house leaders, senate leaders, and the president, are going to have to continue to work together to address those concerns. >> the president lifted his number to 400,000, no tax hikes for anyone making less than that, boehner says the million, still no deal. what happened out there? >> he did not have the votes, simple as that. he had to pull back.
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his own caucus let him down. he thought he could get the 218 votes he needed on of his caucus and they were not there. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i think there is still a chance we can avert that. boehner's statement on friday morning get that he was still willing to work with the president to come up with something. the outcome has to be that the fringes on both parties need to be forgotten and they need to have to pull in and of republicans of a moderate nature and the majority of democrats to make this thing work. you will not get the house caucus to back anything. >> what are republicans doing to their brand? to watch that scene last night on the news was to see very conservative republicans almost literally rolling their eyes at what happened. there is still a chance. this is a lame duck congress, and it will be easier in the next one, even if only a week
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into the next one. still, colby is right. you obviously cannot do it with a unified republican caucus. it ain't going to happen. >> boehner actually had a plan c, the mayan apocalypse. if you are watching on the weekend, obviously, that one did not work out either. i think they are going to go over the cliff. the main objective obama had was not a fiscal one, it was political, to follow the victory in november by creating a civil war among republicans over the tax issue, which is exactly what happened. he said the 1 requirement i have for any deal is hiking tax rates. the reason that boehner was not able to do plan b was because it involved breaching the principle, which he did openly and said he was ready to do it.
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there were conservatives who would not do it. that is not a figure of the party that will be extremely hard to reconcile. if you can not, how you get a deal done before january 1? >> that is essentially the problem the president faced with boehner two years ago. last year. can he deliver? how can you negotiate with someone who cannot deliver on his side? >> you go to people for support, at least three of whom have lost their committee assignments. how can you expect them to come over to your way of thinking? >> they were crowing when john boehner went down, taking some delight, but that was pre- cleared by the leadership. the leadership was with him. this is not a question of -- quite bluntly, leaving and losing their virginity on the issue of tax cuts. it is an important thing for
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these republicans who have not voted. no republican in the house or senate, for 22 years, has voted to increase taxes. to do that on something that would be symbolic, harry reid saying it would not be taken up in the senate, the president said he would veto it, i think that was a bridge too far. >> did everyone see the abraham lincoln movie, the wheeling and dealing that had to be done? >> and it was done in a lame- duck session. >> in the good old days, some of us remember, you could punish people. i am taking away the bridge, you are not going to get that school or library. nobody wants to bring home the bacon anymore. >> let us remember -- >> the decrease in corruption has truly been harmful to the nation. you cannot get business done. >> let us remember that during the crash of 2007, 2008, in the
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end, it was the democrats under nancy pelosi who bailed out president bush. it was the republican secretary of the treasury who literally got down on his knees to hurt because he needed her to bring home the vote. she was able to do that. >> abolish bribery in the house and it grinds to a halt. >> see? ok. 26 people dead in a connecticut elementary school. what to do about guns. >> since friday morning, a police officer was gunned down in memphis, leaving four children without their mother. two officers were killed outside a grocery store in topeka. the woman was shot and killed inside of a las vegas casino. three people were shot inside and alabama hospital. a 4-year-old was caught in a
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drive by in missouri. and taken off life-support justice today. each one of these american was a victim of everyday gun violence that takes the lives of more than 10,000 americans every year. violence that we cannot accept as routine. i will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. >> that was the president on wednesday morning and no doubt others have been killed since then with fire arms. you all know the story now. a 20-year-old loner armed with semiautomatic pistols, a semiautomatic rifle, walked into a connecticut elementary school, kills 26 children and then himself. prior to that, he fired four bullets into his mother's head. the president has appointed vice president biden to come up with a task force to look of the issues.
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the president says that he promises real reforms now, but what are the odds on that? >> realistically, we can see a ban on assault weapons. whether that will address the problem, i do not think so. the problem is beyond the assault weapons. charles pointed out, in the post, there are some weapons out there now. there are thousands out there already in the community. >> and sales have gone up since this. >> that is all true but certainly we could do something about the size of these clips. having said that, we need to do something about our mental health system in this country. it is completely fallen apart. after the shootings at virginia tech, in the state of virginia, that appropriated $43 million
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more for mental health services. the next year, they cut it by $50 million. you cannot have a system that does not treat people. you cannot have a system that does not do something about committing people for -- more easily for periods of time to be able to treat them. it does not work. on top of that, you have these incredibly for russia's weapons that were made for were times that anybody can get. >> i think all that is true. i do think the change in the commitment laws over the last 30 or 40 years has made it very difficult to compel someone to get treatment or be detained in a mental institution. these killers, is not as if there is a lack of funds for treatment. it is the lack of the ability of a parent would obviously have been a child, to go through the
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legal loopholes, is such that it is almost impossible. you end up with the tucson shooter who everyone spoke about. they had a sense he was psychotic. on guns, the problem is this. unless you are willing to completely disarm the population, as you do in canada or britain or australia did in the 1990's, and that it works and you have a decrease in gun crimes, if you allow grandfather of existing weapons, as would happen with the 1994 assault weapons law, at which time there were 25 million of the high- capacity magazines already in circulation, you do not accomplish anything. the studies of the 10-year experiment with the ban on assault weapons in the 1990's up to 2004 shows it had no effect. >> in april 1968, i was in ebenezer baptist church in
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atlanta for the funeral of martin luther king. on june of 1968 i was working for robert kennedy when he was murdered. since those two events, more americans have died by firearms than in all the wars this country has popped coming in, or out of combat. guns are crazy. unless we can confront that reality -- is not just a question of training. i do not disagree about mental health. it is absolutely lunacy to have half of the guns in the world in the united states of america. that is something that has to be different. one other point about new town. dillon shockley was six-years old. he was a special education uden hisaren issd a statement. we take great solace that dylan died in the loving arms of his
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favorite teacher, the special education teacher, anne marie murphy. the teachers in that school, the principal, psychologist, the teachers that die protecting their children, saving their children, comforting their children, those who survived, they are true heroes and they have not received the recognition, in my judgment, that they deserve. i point out that every one of them is a public-school teacher, a group that has been condemned, vilified, and denigrated by all sorts of people. >> do wonderbout ts nes we are making about mental illness and violence. we have had a number of gun violence in the district of columbia where people have been killed by firearms, prince george's county as well. are you suggesting to me that everyone who pulled a trigger is mentally ill?
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is that the suggestion? >> no. >> in mass killings, if you look at the virginia tech guide, and jared loughner, he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, which you could see on day one. i do not know about adam lanza. >> i am not nitpicking. i do not hear the argument for levelheaded this. >> about a third of them in jail have a serious mental illness of some kind, but that is beside the point. we are talking about mass killings, people that have psychotic breaks. >> the five states with the lowest death rate from guns. hawaii, rhode island, massachusetts, connecticut, and new york, erotically.
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the five highest, louisiana, mississippi, alaska, nevada, alabama. the other five have the highest gun ownership in the country and the most relaxed laws. >> we have the toughest gun laws in the city. it did not do much to cut down on the violence. it took a lot of police to do it. >> go on the internet. google gun-control and see what you come up with. statements from the founding fathers about our guns. toward washington. -- george washington. try to stop gun sales in this country, you will run into a series of roadblocks. >> australia had a mass killing in the mid-1990s and they passed a severe loss where all existing guns had to be turned in. the government bought them back. after a certain date if they
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were in your home, you were arrested. they have had a decrease in crime and suicide, which is an interesting development. it seems to me, you either have to go that route, which you cannot in the u.s. -- gun ownership in australia was 5% of households. gallup has shown is 47% here. we have the second amendment and the hisry back to washington. given that we are a different culture, the kinds of laws that we pass are almost always an effective as a result, because there are00 million weapons out there today. unless you recall them the way that australia did, and we cannot do that -- you would have a reservoir that would last 100 years.
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>> you can imagine what would happen. there would be an insurrection. >> you do not have to permit guns -- and i understand they are already there -- but you do not simply not do something because it is already a problem. right now>> you can imagine whad happen. there would be an insurrection. , we allowed guns that are made specifically to injured in the most grievous way and the fastest way. these are military weapons. we do not have to keep permitting those on our streets. they do not kill deer. the deer would be so torn up you would not eat them. makes no sense at all. it doesn't make any sense either to allow people on the street who need severe treatment, and need it right away. charles, you are wrong about that. people who have children and our try to do something about it have to wait weeks, sometimes months, to get a bed. at fairfax hospital, they elinated the psych ward.
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>> we had someone attached himself to the civil-rights for those confined in mental institutions. so our rights were being abridged and suld be released. in many places there were no accommodations made. >> that part was fulfilled. it was talked about but never fulfilled. i am going to go back to the point that nobody likes, this nexus between mental health and guns is something i'm not ready to make unless we go all the way and suggest that some of these individuals we have incarcerated in jail who killed one or two people, that they are mentally ill as well. they do not count. it is only the kid -- >> we have irrational killers. al capone. they were courting in on his territory so he was shot.
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that is not mental illness. but if you think like a german loughner, where you live in a world of numerology and forces -- he was talking about the influence of grammar that the government was using over him. you are talking about people living in a different world and they are not responsible. i believe in the insanity defense and acquittal on the grounds of insanity. >> daniel patrick moynihan, great american center, public servant, had a simple suggestion. tax the magazines, the bullets. i do not care how many guns they have. if they cannot fire them, they will not kill people. >> state department takes a big hit on benghazi. >> the state of art and had not given benghazi the security both physical and personnel resources it needed. >> former ambassador thomas pickering, former chair of the
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accountability review board investigated the attack. the report is the result of three resignation so far. i guarantee that is not the end of this debate. >> i feel a little bit as if, you know when somebody is going down the street and they cut someone off. the other guy is curious and the arab driver says, you are right. that is what happened this week. the state department said you are right. it took the wind out of the sales of the republican conspiracy theorists, i think, someonwhat. a hearing on capitol hill was only one hour long? this one was pretty reasonable. >> still someone in your sales, charles? >> the secretary of state said that the buck stops with her. the president said that the book stops with him on benghazi. we have this report about unbelievable systemic mistakes, not giving the security that was requested, ignoring these --
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begging of the people in an gauzy for extra help. we end up with the first slain ambassador in 30 years, and where does the buck stop? ever heard of who have never been named. there was one name, the others have not been. the secretary of state is not at the hearings because she has an illness and her underlings are their. >> are you suggesting she is taking an illness? >> i am saying she is absent from a hearing where she should have been the one to have taken the responsibility or to explain what the phrase means, but stops here, if it does not stop with her but with underlings. >> i do think the secretary of state has to testify and has to testify not as the department's budget of the future policy, not simply for the resolution of the questions that persist even after the report, which was
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devastating. at the same time, if she is to have any political ambitions beyond presidential prospects, just in her own self-interest, beyond a national interest, she has to fully explain and put this behind her so that it does not nag as a continuing question in her career. >> i can say this without fear of contradiction. if you look at every security report submitted to the state department from embassies and consulates around the world you would find that most of the recommendations from security professionals are not being implemented. >> you say that as a former security officer. >> security professionals a do not call the shots. you have non-security people making these budgetary decisions and diplomatic decisions. for example, we do not want to look like a garrison.
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we want to be an open the embassy. those are the things your up against even now. in the report they said security officials on the ground were not able to do what they wanted to do. they were not able to tell the ambassador, do not go to benghazi. i had the same problem with an ambassador. >> when? >> in the 1960's. the problem is still there. they can still call the shots. i had an ambassador come in and say, i like things just the way they are. i would like all my classified material on my desk and not walk away. you know what we have to do? we have to send in extra people to stay 24 hour guard to watch the papers because the ambassador was always right. >> john kerry at state. will it be chuck hagel at the pentagon? that opens up all sorts of possibilities back in massachusetts. i want to talk about chuck hegel. this man came back from vietnam
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with two purple hearts. there is talk about him going to the pentagon but there are some republicans are not very happy with him. why? >> chuck hagel was not to go to vietnam. he had orders to go to germany. he was at fort dix. he said i want to go to vietnam. in may and talk to the chaplain and psychologist, and after two weeks, he went to vietnam. he fought for his country, unlike his critics. he has bled for his country, unlike his critics. he understand war, unlike his critics. he did not have other priorities, like richard cheney, and never said it was going to be a cakewalk. he is prepared, ready, and bill cohen put it best. he has fought and bled for this country. he knows the subject matter. ask jim jones and other national security advisers. >> iraq and iran, that is what upsets people about shock hegel and some of the things he had to
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say about them. >> he was a supporter of the war in iraq. he supported the war in afghanistan. he voted in favor. it is an odd dove. all the critics are now decrying that he supported these wars. now when it came time to redeem what is it pay losing war in iraq with the troop surge, he not only opposed it, he said it would be the worst disaster since the vietnam war, but it was a success. >> he has other problems that he will have to address. not say they are disqualified. references he made to gays that upset the human rights campaign. he will have to talk about the reference to the jewish lobby when he met the israeli lobby. he has some hills to climb. >> he has some hills to climb but i think he will climb them just fine. basically, he ended up with where most of the american people were on iraq and
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afghanistan. >> nina, you get the last word. merry christmas. see you next week.
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steves: the dramatic rock of cashel is one of ireland's most evocative sites. this was the seat of ancient irish kings for seven centuries. st. patrick baptized king aengus here in about 450 a.d. in around 1100, an irish king gave cashel to the church, and it grew to become the ecclesiastical capital of all ireland. 800 years ago, this monastic community was just a chapel and a round tower standing high on this bluff.


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